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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogAt first glance, it may seem like the struggle to protect the environment is counter to the government’s goal to boost GDP and to provide the highest quality of life to its many citizens. However, the reality is that many green initiatives also benefit the government in various ways. With a closer look at how green building policies are impacting the environment and the government, you can see how beneficial these programs truly are when you incorporate them into your next projects. Construction Improvements There are many aspects of construction that can destroy the environment. For example, natural habitats can be eliminated through construction. The depletion of natural resources, the effects of erosion, the emissions in new construction HVAC systems and more all play a negative role in the environment. It may cost the government millions of dollars or more to combat these issues. However, green construction initiatives are designed to work more cohesively to minimize the effects on Mother Nature, and this means that the government can save money related to addressing these issues. Water Management Solutions The amount of fresh, clean drinking water on the planet is a source of concern for many. The government is typically tasked with supplying water to the public through utility services. New construction projects that have green practices in mind can contain the natural drainage on the property and can capture rain through the guttering system. This allows the property owner to more successfully take advantage of natural rainwater for irrigation and more. There are also desalination efforts available in areas close to the coast. Desalination systems allow the property to create its own fresh water supply without having to rely on the public water supply. Wastewater Management Improvements Dealing with the wastewater produced in buildings and homes is a governmental concern as well. This water must be properly contained to avoid polluting waterways or contaminating the fresh water supply. New construction projects may use their own purification systems or treatment systems. In addition, some grey water may be re-used in toilets without having to be treated. In some cases, wastewater management facilities can be protested, or their construction contested. This is where a masters of diplomacy degree comes into play to make sure necessary facilities can be built or operated while keeping nearby businesses and homeowners happy. While the issue of new construction and urban sprawl must be addressed, you can see that some construction projects are actually beneficial to the environment and the government. If you are planning a new construction project soon, carefully review modern green practices that could be incorporated into your plans and that could benefit the environment and those who plan to spend time in the building.
HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogYou hear about stories of people who become sick after drinking from the tap in their house, and there are always warnings about the pollutants, bacteria, minerals, and other substances in your water. So how do you know if you water is ok to drink? It's not as hard as you think. Get a Report Checking in with your water company for a consumer confidence report is the first step to knowing if your water is safe. Your water company is required by law to provide you with this report. This report will show any pollutants that have come into contact with your water supply over the past year. Knights Plumbing & Drain also recommend looking at your pipes to make sure they aren’t old or rusting which might give off a strange taste. Government Resources The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has 18 states participating in their Drinking Water Watch program. This program links to a database of information regarding water quality violation, hazards, and any actions taken by the state to clean up these issues. If you live in a state that participates in this program(Indiana, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and others), all you have to do is enter the name of your county or your public water system number, and you will receive a report of the quality test results. If you received a data report, you can then look up any or all the contaminants listed within the EPA's chemical database. Please, be aware that the data does differ depending on the state of which it was pulled. When you're water supply comes from a private well, you can still look up your well in a state guide, but it becomes a little more cumbersome. If you can't find what you are looking for in the state guide, then you can contact the state government directly to resolve your issues. Often times the state government has more up-to-date information. Test Yourself In many cases, there is no way to be absolutely sure your water is safe to drink besides testing it yourself. To do this, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline to connect you with your local water testing agency. The Water Quality Association can also help you connect with a testing agency. Once connected simply schedule a time they can come to help test your home’s water sources. Using these steps will help you determine if your drinking water is safe to consume, and will help you keep up to date with issues that have happened recently with your water supply.